Caliber for Leopard

enysse

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I think, I'll use my 7mm Rem Mag with 160 Accubond bullets, if I ever get a chance to hunt leopard.
 

Mark H. Young

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The question about what bullet is best for leopard comes up pretty often. I also think it is a subject that folks over think. Personally I recommend a hunter use the same load he is using for PG. I'd prefer the Nosler Partition or Accubond but I think good shot placement and a top end light gathering scope is more important.

My clients have used quite a variety bullets including the TSX with good results. Personally I 've killed three leopards. The first I shot broadside with a 338 using a 250 gr TBBC. Nickel size hole and the leopard was dead before he hit the ground. A puff of dust was all we saw at the base of the tree. Leopard never twitched. The second leopard I shot in the front of the chest as he faced me with a 250 gr NP from a 330 Dakota. He did a somersault forward out of the tree and thrashed around for about 5 seconds ending up about 50 feet downhill from the the bait tree. Nosler had exited about 2 inches from the tail leaving a dime size hole. The third leopard I shot off a a lion bait with a 375 H&H and the 300 gr TBBC Federal factory load. The leopard had just come up the back of the tree and was laying over the crotch of the tree kind of on his side feeding on the top of the bait. I put a bullet where the neck and shoulder met and the leopard just slumped in the tree and never moved. The TBBC didn't exit.

These are neat little cat hunting stories but the point is that in each case I used a load developed for much heavier game but it worked perfectly on the leopard also. Fiddling around with a special frangible bullet for leopard is a waste of time and a recipe for disaster if you were to get it mixed up with your premium bullets when trying for heavier game.

Mark
 

chemarq

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338 is excelent for leopard BUT definitely i wouldn't take the Nosler Partition, really HARD bullet, and in such a soft target like the cat..i would prefer the Nosles Accubond

Jose
 

Mark H. Young

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Jose,

I think you'll get a lot of arguement on the choice of the Nosler Partition on leopard and other thin skinned game being wrong. The front third of the bullet goes off like a grenade in the animals chest cavity causing huge tissue damage. The exit holes are often quite small as the 2 thirds of the bullet behind the partition continues on almost as a solid. Therefore a small exit hole. I'm guessing but I would imagine I've killed 100 animals with the Nosler Partition and they word very effectively on the light skinned game. I agree the Accubond is a great cat bullet also but I don't think it is better than the Partition.

Mark
 

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I am not really experienced in hunting Cats, I just shot one leopard last year and shot it with my 338win loaded with 210 nosler partition, and the bullet did the job perfectly.

Here, my friend PH Shaun Buffee with the leopard I shot with the 338 last year.

Shaun Leopardo.JPG

I have shot lots of game with it from eland to impala or blackcucks and works extremely well.

However I have to say that I also love the 180 accubound. I have hunting lots of wildboars with it and had no even one problem with them.

Wild boars shot in Argentina last easter with my 338 loaded with 210 nosler partition

2.2.JPG

I guess both bullets are just amazing. I want to try the 225grains nosler accuboung bullets.

This is like colors everyone has its favorite one!
 

Mike70560

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We now have two Shaun Buffee fans on Africa Hunting. I shot a leopard with him two weeks ago. While at DSC convention I asked him what was his preference for cartridge and bullet. Answer: 300 Win Mag and Nosler Partition. I brought my Ruger No. 1 300 Win Mag and 180 Grain Nosler Partitions. Shot the leopard in daylight, fell out of the tree, hung on the bait for about five seconds, and hit the ground dead.

It is interesting to hear different peoples perceptions of bullets. Shaun loved the Partitions for cats but hated them for buffalo because they are too soft and do not hold together.

In a post above Jose thinks they are too hard for cats.

I do know the Partition worked really well on the leopard and North Forks work far too good to try any other bonded bullet on buffalo.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I am not really experienced in hunting Cats, I just shot one leopard last year and shot it with my 338win loaded with 210 nosler partition, and the bullet did the job perfectly.

Here, my friend PH Shaun Buffee with the leopard I shot with the 338 last year.

View attachment 6928

That looks to be one fat cat Alcornoque! I hope you're doing a full body mount.
 

Alcornoque

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That looks to be one fat cat Alcornoque! I hope you're doing a full body mount.

Yes, it was really fat indeed.
I am doing a full body mount. My taxidermist is still working on it and he is planning to finish it at the end of summer time. I will upload some pictures of it.
 

Alcornoque

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We now have two Shaun Buffee fans on Africa Hunting. I shot a leopard with him two weeks ago. While at DSC convention I asked him what was his preference for cartridge and bullet. Answer: 300 Win Mag and Nosler Partition. I brought my Ruger No. 1 300 Win Mag and 180 Grain Nosler Partitions. Shot the leopard in daylight, fell out of the tree, hung on the bait for about five seconds, and hit the ground dead.

It is interesting to hear different peoples perceptions of bullets. Shaun loved the Partitions for cats but hated them for buffalo because they are too soft and do not hold together.

In a post above Jose thinks they are too hard for cats.

I do know the Partition worked really well on the leopard and North Forks work far too good to try any other bonded bullet on buffalo.

Agree 100 percent Shaun Buffee just love Nosler Partition for leopards.
He recommend me to use this bullets for this hunt... and the results are there in the pictures...
I am using this bullet since then.
 

larrys

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What is the legal requirement?

I've been lead to belive that the minimum legal Cal. is .375 as the leopard is listed as dangerous game? I'm refering to South African requirements.
 

AfricaHunting.com

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Most South African provinces do not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting and rely on common sense however some provinces require a minimum of .375 caliber for dangerous or big game hunting. No SA provinces require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used. The best would be for you to enquire with your hunting outfitter...

About 60% of all Leopards are taken in the Limpopo province with another 25% being hunted in the North West province.
 

.416 Rigby

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I'm hardly an expert on leopard, as I have taken all of the Big Five EXCEPT leopard. Both of my unsuccesful leopard hunts were 21 days each, without a shot being fired at Mr. Spots. Will try again next year.

My leopard rifle is a .416 Rigby with an illuminated scope. The reason is that I mostly hunt Zim and there is DG everywhere. This year, we were walking back to the truck one night and encountered a family of elephant blocking our egress. On another night, a family of elephant literally walked up to the back of our blind before we became aware of them. On another hunt, two lions came very, very close to our blind and we walked back to our truck in the dark listening to them call. While I agree that a rifle in the .30/06 class is plenty for leopard, based on my experience, if you are in DG country, bring at least a .375 with a soft up and solids down in case you have the misfortune to encounter something large and unfriendly in the dark.

You should also consider your followup rifle, in case the leopard isn't dead under the tree. A .30/06 class rifle is insufficient for that task. I would think a 9.3x62 or a .375 would be a minimum. On my lion hunt, I followed up with my .470, loaded with softs.
 

karibu

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I like 300 wm with 165 grs Norma Plastic Point, but we used nosler partition with similar effect is very light if you do your job, put your bullet in the right place is the most important thing in this game.
 

DOC-404

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The problem cats that I have had to shoot have been one shot kills with my CZ .375 and hand-loaded 250gr Sierra Gamekings. I will never change the recipe.
 

.416 Rigby

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If you are hunting leopard in areas where lion, elephant and cape buff are about, I suggest a minimum of a .375 with a soft up (for the leopard) and solids down in case of a situation involving one of these heavies.

I have hunted leopard (unsuccessfully) on two separate hunts. On the first, we had a close encounter with two male lions. On the second, we had two up close encounters with elephant. I was carrying my .416 Rigby on the leopard hunts and I am told a well placed bullet from a .416 will dispatch a leopard nicely. However, you are not going to stop an elephant with a .30/06 softpoint. Know your area and choose your rifle accordingly.
 

mauser hunter

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A whitetail isn't going to tear yaa apart though if things don't go as planned! Ask a PH which animal would he least want to follow wounded into the bush he will most likely say Cape buffalo or the Leopard!
 

Alcornoque

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That looks to be one fat cat Alcornoque! I hope you're doing a full body mount.





Here it is... the final result.

What do you guys think about the leopard mounted?
 

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Nice big cat. Congratulations.
 

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